The Apes and the Two Travelers

: Aesop's Fables

TWO MEN, one who always spoke the truth and the other who told

nothing but lies, were traveling together and by chance came to

the land of Apes. One of the Apes, who had raised himself to be

king, commanded them to be seized and brought before him, that he

might know what was said of him among men. He ordered at the

same time that all the Apes be arranged in a long row on his

right hand and on his left, and that a th
one be placed for him,

as was the custom among men. After these preparations he

signified that the two men should be brought before him, and

greeted them with this salutation: "What sort of a king do I seem

to you to be, O strangers?' The Lying Traveler replied, "You seem

to me a most mighty king." "And what is your estimate of those

you see around me?' "These," he made answer, "are worthy

companions of yourself, fit at least to be ambassadors and

leaders of armies." The Ape and all his court, gratified with the

lie, commanded that a handsome present be given to the flatterer.

On this the truthful Traveler thought to himself, "If so great a

reward be given for a lie, with what gift may not I be rewarded,

if, according to my custom, I tell the truth?' The Ape quickly

turned to him. "And pray how do I and these my friends around me

seem to you?' "Thou art," he said, "a most excellent Ape, and all

these thy companions after thy example are excellent Apes too."

The King of the Apes, enraged at hearing these truths, gave him

over to the teeth and claws of his companions.